The Good, the Great, and the Must See - Foreign Language Films (European)

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UPDATED: June 24, 2011

Easter Eggs (free stuff): (7)

Recent Movies Included: (-)

Recent Updated Reviews/Ranking: (1) Golden Door

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90% of the films on this list are rated (7's) & (8's) by IMDb...

...painstakingly prepared to include (mostly) approachable, exemplary films. More than a few of these 'gems' are rarely found on other lists.

I've watched ALL of these movies and have included brief reviews (with hidden spoilers) for my favorites (rated 7 and higher). Also included is a quick view of the films popularity (while in list-view; see Comments section for details).

Special Feature: For your enjoyment, I've included links to trailers and preview clips for all movies.

The list is in descending order. The majority here have a very high 'replay-ability factor', where you can watch them over and over.

See Comments for additional films, my rank 5 and below.

Watching subtitled films becomes second nature with minimal practice.

NOTE: "Under the Tuscan Sun" is not a FLF but deserves honorable mention, especially for the ladies. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0328589/


I welcome your comments.

Please check back often, because...

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1.
Jean de Florette (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A greedy landowner and his backward nephew conspire to block the only water source for an adjoining property in order to bankrupt the owner and force him to sell. (120 mins.)
Director: Claude Berri
“ Jean de Florette (1986)

This is not just a movie, it is a moving experience about life and human nature. The cinematography is wonderful, the acting superb, and the story is timeless.

It's uplifting, like deeply breathing in the fresh air of a cool forrest. Like a fine wine, this one just gets better with age.

My favorite film of all time, bar none!

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi279511321/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C

A masterpiece. ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
2.
Manon of the Spring (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A beautiful but shy shepherdess plots vengeance on the men whose greedy conspiracy to acquire her father's land caused his death years earlier. (113 mins.)
Director: Claude Berri
“ Manon of the Spring (1986)
Also known as "Manon des sources" (original title)

This movie is nearly equal to it's prequel, Jean de Florette. In some ways I like it better. Remember: revenge is a dish best served cold. Again, the acting is superb and the cinematography outstanding. It has a wonderful ending, which takes the sting away from the ending of Part One, where Manon's father, Jean, dies.

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1402470681/

A masterpiece. ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
3.
The Emigrants (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden)... (191 mins.)
Director: Jan Troell
“ The Emigrants (1971)
Also known as "Utvandrarna" (original title)

Outstanding. Amazing acting, wonderful script, beautiful cinematography. Very touching, and American story of settlement.

A must see. The most overlooked best film on IMDb.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU2DGlyRFyc

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
4.
The Best of Youth (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An Italian epic that follows the lives of two brothers, from the 1960s to the 2000s. (383 mins.)
“ The Best of Youth (2003)
Also known as "La meglio gioventù" (original title)

My favorite Italian film. Enjoy this captivating journey of two brothers lives, presented in this 6 hour epic. You'll wish it was 8 hours long.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sku1qEqzmNc

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
5.
Das Boot (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror. (149 mins.)
“ Das Boot (1981)

Simply the most *realistic*, and best submarine movie ever made. Not just according to me (and I've seen many), but from many submariners.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtUw_JnmYQ0

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: B ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
6.
My Mother's Castle (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Every holiday Marcel and his family go to their cottage in the Provence (France). He likes the hills in this region... (98 mins.)
Director: Yves Robert
“ My Mother's Castle (1990)
Also known as "Le château de ma mère" (original title)

I think this is much better than the first film in this duo, 'La Gloire de mon père' (also on this list). It's much funnier, whimsical, and touching. It delves into even deeper into human nature which is what Marcel Pagnol is known for.

The film is just beautiful, and a near masterpiece. If it had been more focused on Marcel as a character it would have been even better in my opinion. Even so, it's a MUST SEE (along with it's prequel).

My favorite quote from the film: "Such is the life of a man. Moments of joy, obliterated by unforgettable sadness. There's no need to tell the children that."

The second most overlooked great FLF on IMDb.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM8BbSvYfyg

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
7.
The New Land (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of an immigrant family from Sweden in the Minnesota's forests, during mid 19th century (204 mins.)
Director: Jan Troell
“ The New Land (1972)
Also known as "Nybyggarna" (original title)

[Part 2 of 'The Emigrants']

A great film, just not a masterpiece in my opinion. It just lacks something special that would make it even better than it already is. Perhaps the missing ingredient is the adventure of it's prequel, The Emigrants.

Note: There is a particular scene in this movie, depicting a violent act, that makes this movie very difficult to locate (due to censorship). It shows a dead baby with a spear through it, stuck to the side of a cabin.

The third most overlooked great FLF on IMDb.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPMXGiY0HQc

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
8.
The Grand Highway (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Louis, a nine-year-old boy from Paris, spends his summer vacation in a small town in Brittany. His mother... (104 mins.)
“ The Grand Highway (1987)
Also known as "Le grand chemin" (original title)

Whether you're male or female, you'll relive your childhood through two magnificent child actors in this wonderful and complex story that takes place during one summer in a small French town.

The story is about a precocious 10 year old local girl and a younger boy who is visiting and is staying with his mother's friend while awaiting the return of his expectant mother. The girl befriends the boy and has decided to share her secrets with him during their summer adventure together. The boy learns to overcome the many challenges he's faced with.

Discover how the young man not only personally transforms, but also has a healing influence on the childless couple that he's staying with.

And don't be deceived. This is not a children's film. Sure, a large part of it is about that feeling of discovery as a youth, but it is so much more. You will see the children's perspective of the adults, the adults perspective of the children, the children's perspective of the children, and the adults perspective of the adults.

The fourth most overlooked great FLF on IMDb.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wvKow97mhA

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
9.
The Children of the Marshland (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A chronicle of a group of friends in rural France in 1918. Garris and Riton live in the marshlands along the banks of the Loire river... (115 mins.)
Director: Jean Becker
“ Les enfants du Marais (1999)
- Children of the Marshlands

Forget the IMDb rating of this magnificent film... read the reviews!

This film delivers. It's a slice of life set in the beautiful French countryside.

It starts out very simple but keeps building, relationships evolving and unfolding into a glorious crescendo. The friendship between Garriss and Riton is something that is not often captured in film.

A reviewer commented "I sat through it waiting for something to happen" and was disappointed. I contend that if one watches this film waiting for a shootout, nudity/sex scene, a car chase, an explosion, or any of the other typical Hollywood cliché subplots, one is going to be disappointed.

You don't sit through this film "waiting for something to happen". Something happens to you! You're immersed in a world of nostalgia, one that will warm your soul and broaden your notions of what life is really about, and how it really should be.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw6xO_FNo5A

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
10.
Il Postino: The Postman (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Simple Italian postman learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet; he uses this to woo local beauty Beatrice. (108 mins.)
Director: Michael Radford
“ Il Postino: The Postman (1994)

There's so much to love about this movie. The acting. The scenery. The cinematography. The humor. It was poignant as well. If I can find one fault, it's that the film ended too soon. After much development and anticipation, the viewer is basically left with crumbs at the end after rooting for the main character (Massimo Troisi) to finally win the girl of his dreams. I feel this detracts from the ending and thus the film.

An added dimension to this film, like no other, is that a day after shooting was completed Massimo Troisi died of heart failure. One can tell he put his all into this film, at great risk, postponing his operation until shooting was done. This man was beloved in Italy, and the world has suffered a loss with the passing of this brilliant actor/writer. God Bless you, Massimo!

Trailer: http://www.zuguide.com/#Il-Postino

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
11.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. (118 mins.)
“ Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Also known as "El laberinto del fauno" (original title)

An amazing, adult fairy tale that lives up to the hype. This movie strikes a wonderful balance between the real and fantasy.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2728329497/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: A ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
12.
Downfall (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII. (156 mins.)
“ Downfall (2004)
Also known as "Der Untergang" (original title)

An ultra-realistic portrayal of Hitler's last days. Absolutely riveting.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YTePIi4arg

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: B ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
13.
The Grocer's Son (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Antoine Sforza, a thirty-year-old young man, left his village ten years before in order to start a new life in the big city... (96 mins.)
Director: éric guirado
“ Le fils de l'épicier (2007)
- The Grocer's Son

People can change. Transformation is possible, and redemption awaits the willing. A lovely story about family, relationships, and benevolence. The story is as deep as the subtlety of human emotions that the viewer perceives as unfolding before him.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2814903065/


IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
14.
Divorce Italian Style (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A married Sicilian baron falls in love with his cousin and vows to wed her, but with divorce illegal he must concoct a crime of passion to do away with his wife. (105 mins.)
Director: Pietro Germi
“ Divorce Italian Style (1961)
Also known as "Divorzio all'italiana" (original title)

A subtle, yet humorous look at love, Italian style. This is the best 'pure' Italian comedy that I've watched.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-5MZYcevHY

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
15.
The Experiment (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence. (120 mins.)
“ Das Experiment (2001)

A psychological thriller based upon a true story. Amazing acting, fabulous cinematography, and superb directing are the foundations of this absolutely riveting film.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi4070572313/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
16.
Irreversible (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. (97 mins.)
Director: Gaspar Noé
“ Irreversible (2002)

I really like the artistic nature of this film. It's Gasper Noé genius. From the shaky camera (time destroys all things) to the movie going in reverse, to the title Irreversible, this film has the artistic depth of an impressionistic oil painting...

It's this art that gives birth to many different interpretations of the film. The ending is intentionally ambiguous and has created much debate on IMDb, however I believe that Noé has left *clues* as to the intended outcome. Along with great acting and realistic screenplay this is yet another strength of this film.

Warning: This movie will shock you and it *will* provoke strong feelings. There is a rape scene that is very realistic and may be difficult to watch.

It warrants several viewings to comprehend the abstract camera work alone, which adds a rich depth to the story while also evoking subconscious emotions.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2601845529/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
17.
The Star Maker (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A photographer and the types of people he encounters. (113 mins.)
“ The Star Maker (1995)
Also known as "L'uomo delle stelle" (original title)

Amazing film. Funny yet poignant. Superb acting. Wonderful cinematography.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExH-i9oNQec

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
18.
The Longest Day (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view. (178 mins.)
“ The Longest Day (1962)

This film has enough German and French spoken to be classified as a foreign language film (over 1000 lines of dialogue).

It's a truly magnificent war film of the highest caliber. Experience D-Day with all of the impact as "Saving Private Ryan".

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1458569497/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
19.
My Father's Glory (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young boy's life in turn-of-the-century France. Marcel, witnesses the success of his teacher father... (105 mins.)
Director: Yves Robert
“ My Father's Glory (1990)
Also known as "La gloire de mon père" (original title)

I really wanted to like this film more. But it starts out slow, with no clear direction at the beginning. It does however have plenty of amusing anecdotes and it gets much better in the mountains. There are many great moments in the story, although the plot is a little thin. Yet this is a fine film, very wholesome; it just doesn't captivate the way one would hope. "My Mother's Castle" is better in my opinion, yet the two movies go hand in hand.

Trailer: http://www.videodetective.com/movies/trailers/my-fathers-glory-trailer/4703

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
20.
1900 (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The epic tale of a class struggle in 20th Century Italy, as seen through the eyes of two childhood friends on opposing sides. (317 mins.)
“ 1900 (1976)
Also known as "Novecento" (original title)

This rating is for the uncut version, a 5 hour epic which was rated X in 1976. It does have some sex scenes in it, including a young, nude De Niro, along with some disturbing content (violence to animals).

The cinematography of this movie is amazing. It captures many beautiful scenes of the Italian countryside. The storyline is good, takes a few weird tangents, but overall is not hard to follow has a good, complex plot.

The ladies may find it interesting that a young De Niro displays full frontal nudity in one scene.

✓ "Novecento" by Ennio Morricone available for free mp3 download: http://dc344.4shared.com/img/95181186/7f650cf2/dlink__2Fdownload_2F0vMNripd_3Ftsid_3D20110702-150227-b144ec45/preview.mp3

[red]Clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGTgw6KjhSo

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
21.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist. (155 mins.)
“ Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Also known as "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso" (original title)

Very sentimental, with strong directing and a wonderful musical score by Ennio Morricone. There are some very deep, thought provoking moments that can easily provide much contemplation for days after viewing. This is one to been seen time and again.

✓ "Love Theme" by Ennio Morricone available for free mp3 download: http://dc121.4shared.com/img/82220803/b5927a80/dlink__2Fdownload_2FdgHz-bOE_3Ftsid_3D20110517-221817-40cf81d1/preview.mp3


Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1665925401/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
22.
The Girl from Paris (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Sandrine, a woman in her thirties gets tired of life in Paris and decides to leave her work in computers and become a farmer... (103 mins.)
“ The Girl from Paris (2001)
Also known as "Une hirondelle a fait le printemps" (original title)

I liked this a lot. It had moments that reminded me of Jean de Florette, especially when the townspeople were talking about the girl from Paris, and the old man disconnected her electricity. It has the same "outsider" theme as JDF.

I'm a sucker for the French countryside, and this film is just as beautiful with its great views from the mountains.

Overlooked and underrated on IMDb.

Trailer: http://www.artistdirect.com/video/the-girl-from-paris/70027

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
23.
Malèna (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A woman provokes sensual awakenings in a group of adolescent boys. (109 mins.)
“ Malèna (2000)

I enjoyed this movie, it was more than just a young boys infatuation. It was very humorous at times and touching during others.

A solid movie with good acting.

✓ "Malèna" by Ennio Morricone available for free mp3 download: http://www.mp3searchxi.com/mp3-ennio-morricone-malena.html

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4C0szpgokQ

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
24.
Il Sorpasso (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An impulsive braggart takes a shy law student for a two-day ride through the Roman and Tuscany countries. (105 mins.)
Director: Dino Risi
“ The Easy Life (1962)
Also known as "Il sorpasso" (original title)

This film is non stop entertainment! It's intelligent and quite humorous. It portrays two men (who have just met) of opposite personalities, zooming around Italy in a Lancia Aurelia B24 sports car. One is the veritable extroverted Italian playboy and the other is the shy law student. It's fast paced as the scenes and the situations are changing rapidly as these two are living life large and affecting all those they come into contact with.

This is one of those films where a single viewing is just not enough. It's upbeat, charming, thought provoking, and engrossing from beginning to end. A solid 8, nearly a 9.

The ending is abrupt, with a fatal car accident, but the viewer can see the writing on the wall all throughout this film.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43qsRNGDbFY

IMDb User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
25.
Stalingrad (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A depiction of the brutal battle of Stalingrad, the Third Reich's 'high water mark', as seen through... (134 mins.)
“ Stalingrad (1993)

Another great film from the producers of "Das Boot". It offers dramatic realism and superb acting. There's one scene in particular that will probably stick with you forever, representing the very finest in film.

I just wish it wasn't so focused on the one fighting unit (the Stormtroopers) but had briefly shown other forces throughout Stalingrad, so one could get a better sense of the complete desperation and devastation of this battle. There were other countries involved in this battle and yet their forces were not shown. Another hour could have easily been added to this film which would have made it much stronger and historical.

All in all, this is a solid 8 and nearly a 9. Amazing soundtrack.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3213164825/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
26.
North Face (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps... (126 mins.)
Director: Philipp Stölzl
“ North Face (2008)
Also known as "Nordwand" (original title)

An exciting adventure with great cinematography, intertwined with human tragedy. It would be rated higher if not for some artistic liberties taken, which deviated from actual events.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2061632537/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
27.
Strayed (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Emmanuelle Béart stars as a widowed schoolteacher who flees Nazi-occupied Paris with her children. A teenaged boy comes to their rescue by leading them into the forest -- their best shot at survival. (95 mins.)
“ Strayed (2003)
Also known as "Les égarés" (original title)

Another fine film highlighting the beautiful French countryside. Fine acting from Emmanuelle Béart along with a tense story of escape and hiding during a raging war gives this film depth.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3045458201/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
28.
Forbidden Games (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young French girl orphaned in a Nazi air attack is befriended by the son of a poor farmer, and together they try to come to terms with the realities of death. (86 mins.)
Director: René Clément
“ Forbidden Games (1952)
Also known as "Jeux interdits" (original title)

Great acting performances and a superb story filled with depth and intrigue. This film will make an impression that will stay with you long after it's finished.

Incredible acting by six year old little darling Brigitte Fossey.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBaRqIeib-g

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
29.
Sombre (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A car, following the Tour de France. Children screaming in front of the puppet show. Women, often prostitutes... (112 mins.)
“ Sombre (1998)

This is a very intense, dark and trippy film, much like Irreversible. In fact, the directing style is so reminiscent of Gasper Noé, that at times I couldn't believe that it was a different director. But remember, this film came first.

It's a powerful film with great depth and superb, experimental cinematography. But be warned: it's an intentionally 'dark' film, shot in low light conditions. That, along with minimal dialogue really makes this film stand out as something different, something to really soak in and analyze. Finally, if your looking for a film with minimum subtitles, this is the one for you.

✓ One soundtrack on the film which makes a memorable appearance is "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus. It's available for a free mp3 download here: http://cfs.tistory.com/attach/7443/1111794885.mp3

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncqQPs_FasI

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
30.
Delicatessen (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants. (99 mins.)
“ Delicatessen (1991)

Very strange, yet wildly entertaining.

Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYo_SkERMNI

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
31.
Open Your Eyes (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured. (117 mins.)
“ Open Your Eyes (1997)
Also known as "Abre los ojos" (original title)

The film is the original "Vanilla Sky".

View this for free http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi4198432793/

This is a very good psychodrama where the acting is decent (Eduardo Noriega), yet not great (Penélope Cruz). However, it will keep you guessing and it's worth a second viewing. Nicely directed, the plot has more twists in it than a 1950's sock hop.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3034186521/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
32.
The White Ribbon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible? (144 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ The White Ribbon (2009)
Also known as "Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte" (original title)

A thought provoking film filmed in black and white. It's mysterious and tragic and offers no definitive answers, yet the viewer is able to draw some broader conclusions.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2136737049/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
33.
Interrogation (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Tonia goes out drinking. She wakes up in prison, not having a clue why she's there. She is tortured to encourage her to confess to a crime she is not aware of. (118 mins.)
“ Przesluchanie (1989)
- Interrogation

Great acting. Simple plot. Some cheesy B movie type scenes. Overall, not a bad movie. Prior to release, this movie was banned for 7 years under Soviet rule.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edo6_T7tSPY

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
34.
Swimming Pool (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A British mystery author visits her publisher's home in the South of France, where her interaction with his unusual daughter sets off some touchy dynamics. (102 mins.)
Director: François Ozon
“ Swimming Pool (2003)

Ludivine Sagnier made this movie. The plot is somewhat thin and the ending a bit contrived, yet this is still a solid drama.

A mix of mostly English with some French. If you've never seen a subtitled film before, this is the perfect one to start with!

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi260899097/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
35.
Van Gogh (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The final sixty-seven days of Van Gogh's life is examined. (158 mins.)
Director: Maurice Pialat
“ Van Gogh (1991)

This film lacks somewhat in the directing, but it is still a fine film with wonderful mood.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Qilrt26AQ

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
36.
Run Lola Run (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks. (81 mins.)
Director: Tom Tykwer
“ Run Lola Run (1998)
Also known as "Lola rennt" (original title)

Thought provoking and non stop action. A true thriller which can easily be watched over again. Some minor problems with the storyline, but overall a solid film.

Trailer: http://www.zuguide.com/#Run-Lola-Run

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating B ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
37.
A Sunday in the Country (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In France, before WWI. As every Sunday, an old painter living in the country is visited by his son Gonzague... (90 mins.)
“ A Sunday in the Country (1984)
Also known as "Un dimanche à la campagne" (original title)

Watching this film is like sipping on a glass of fine Bordeaux, listening to Mozart, sitting under the cool shade in your flower garden. There's nothing earth shattering going on, no real surprises or concerns. Yet isn't that what you desire during a lazy Sunday afternoon of relaxation?

This charming film is good drama, depicting family life, especially the relationship between a father and daughter. It's deep, thought provoking, and worth a second viewing. It would have been better if there was a touch of humor in it, although there are some anecdotes. The cinematography is superb.

Trailer: http://www.artistdirect.com/video/sunday-in-the-country/62082

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
38.
La Femme Nikita (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin. (117 mins.)
Director: Luc Besson
“ La Femme Nikita (1990)
Also known as "Nikita" (original title)

Decent movie, very entertaining. If you like 'Run Lola Run' I'm sure you'll like this as well.

Anne Parillaud as Nikita turns in a stunning performance. Her spectacular range of emotions and character portrayal is something not often seen on film.

The worst things about this film are the sound track (cheesy IMO) and some glaring plot holes, for example after she snipes a man from her hotel room, she gets away with it like nothing ever happened. Still, this film is worth a view, not just for the coolness factor of a 'hit woman', but also to watch Parillaud's stellar performance.

Trailer: http://www.zuguide.com/#Nikita


IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
39.
One Hundred Steps (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
"I cento passi" (one hundred steps) was the distance between the Impastatos' house and the house of Tano Badalamenti... (114 mins.)
“ I cento passi (2000)
- One Hundred Steps

A real account of Peppino Impastato who was born into a Mafia family in Sicily and later in life wound up fighting against it. This is mostly a political film, but there's also enough family relationships that are developed to make it more personal. There's good tension and realism, along with exceptional acting by the lead actor, Luigi Lo Cascio (who you'll recognize from 'The Best of Youth). Worthy of several viewings.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kULA6CYZkbA

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
40.
[Rec] (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying. (78 mins.)
“ [Rec] (2007)

As horror films go, this one is pretty scary, with suspense that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The amazing camera work places you in the first person as an unwilling participant, and along with no soundtrack whatsoever, you find realism at it's best. The story is an interesting blend of a zombie film like 'Dawn of the Dead' and 'The Blair Witch Project'.

For anyone who enjoys this genre, this film is a must see!

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1419903513/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
41.
Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. (121 mins.)
Director: Wolfgang Becker
“ Goodbye Lenin! (2003)

A solid film which seems to have a little bit of everything: drama, romance, comedy, and suspense. Yet for some reason I find this film somewhat flat.

If you like this film you'll most likely enjoy "The Lives of Others".

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi4238999833/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
42.
Seduced and Abandoned (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Agnese, a 15-year-old Sicilian girl is seduced and impregnated by Peppino, her sister Matilde's fiancé... (115 mins.)
Director: Pietro Germi
“ Seduced and Abandoned (1964)
Also known as "Sedotta e abbandonata" (original title)

This was OK. Amusing at best, for a comedy. Directed by Pietro Germi, although this does not come close to his earlier "Divorce Italian Style".

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrTd48dWfEQ

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
43.
Respiro (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
On an impoverished Italian island, a free-spirited woman is accused of madness by townspeople fed up with her antics. (95 mins.)
“ Respiro (2002)

Very simple storyline. The beauty of the island and the beauty of the people make this an interesting movie. This is mostly drama with a smidgen of comedy. Poignant ending.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286516/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
44.
The Lives of Others (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. (137 mins.)
“ The Lives of Others (2006)
Also known as "Das Leben der Anderen" (original title)

Decent, fairly intriguing political film. Dark and depressing story. Don't watch this expecting to be titillated.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi586154265/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: B ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
45.
Germinal (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In mid-nineteenth-century northern France, a coal mining town's workers are exploited by the mine's owner. One day, they decide to go on strike, and the authorities repress them. (160 mins.)
Director: Claude Berri
“ Germinal (1993)

Simple storyline with a rather depressing plot. Good acting, good score, and even though its long, it holds interest.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3265855769/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
46.
La veuve Couderc (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Her youth has been spent working for a farm family, being raped by father and son, marrying the son who has now left her a happy widow... (92 mins.)
“ La veuve Couderc (1971)
- The widow Couderc

The story takes place in the French Countryside, so it has beautiful settings. The acting is superb and there's enough drama unfolding to keep the viewer interested, even if the plot is fairly simple.

La veuve Couderc is an intriguing story about a widow who hires a man (escaped convict) to help out around her farm. The man then becomes involved with the aged widow as well as a nubile local girl with a bastard baby. The ending is a bit cheesy/weak but this is still worth viewing.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-ZqmJYblvU

IMDB # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
47.
The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew. (137 mins.)
“ The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
Also known as "Il vangelo secondo Matteo" (original title)

View this for free: http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi2066455833/

This is an "art house" style movie that is painfully slow the first 15 minutes, then it picks up. The power of this film is in Jesus' words, which I find allows this style of cinematography to be bearable. There is no other dialogue except those straight from scripture.

This film would have been better if it had been more thorough; it leaves out key elements from the Biblical account of Jesus during this time. Likely this is due it's faithfulness to this *one* gospel account. A little creative license, where the director would have displayed the cross surrounded in darkness for example, would have easily have been forgiven and would have added to cinematic effect. But this is just my opinion.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzT6Lwj1yhA

IMDB # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
48.
Dogtooth (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out. (94 mins.)
“ Dogtooth (2009)
Also known as "Kynodontas" (original title)

How do I review this bizarre film?

I give it high marks on being creative and very amusing, along with delivering an important message (sheltering children and child abuse). It's a black comedy, and if you enjoyed Delicatessen you will most likely enjoy this.

If this film didn't show skin in it, I seriously doubt it would have been nominated for an Oscar for best FLF.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2813789721/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
49.
Mafioso (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When a good-natured factory supervisor living in Milan with his Northern wife returns to his native Sicily, a decades' old oath forces him to fulfill a nightmarish obligation. (105 mins.)
“ Mafioso (1962)

There are some hilarious scenes in this situation comedy-drama. It's a well paced film and never has a dull moment.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7ajUFqY8ck

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
50.
The Seventh Seal (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague. (96 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ The Seventh Seal (1957)
Also known as "Det sjunde inseglet" (original title)

There's a lot of good, thought provoking dialogue in this film. The game of chess is played out both on the board and in the life of the main character, who is trying to buy a little extra time to add to his life (for a newly found purpose).

Since this is "art house" it doesn't rank high in my list of approachable films, but it's rather engaging just the same. It's dark and rather depressing.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3935410969/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
51.
Golden Door (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story is set at the beginning of the 20th century in Sicily. Salvatore, a very poor farmer, and a widower... (118 mins.)
“ Golden Door (2006)
Also known as "Nuovomondo" (original title)

A little slow yet intriguing. An interesting window into Italian immigration and Ellis Island processing.

Trailer: http://www.cinemagia.ro/trailer/nuovomondo-lumea-noua-215/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: D ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
52.
Dekalog (1989 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
Ten television drama films, each one based on one of the Ten Commandments. (572 mins.)
“ The Decalogue (1989 Mini-Series)

Ten "art house" vignettes that are loosely attached to the 10 Commandments. The best are listed below, in order.

#4, #6, #10, #1, #5

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi972095769/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
53.
Une aventure (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
Cecile and Julien begin their new life together. Julien works long hours in a video library, a world full of pictures... (100 mins.)
Director: Xavier Giannoli
“ Une aventure (2005)
- An adventure

Watch this for free: http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi2066455833/

A fairly captivating and intriguing story, with excellent acting by sexy Ludivine Sagnier, who carries the film. The problem is that the relationships were not well developed, otherwise this would have been a much stronger film. Still, it's worth a viewing even if your not a fan of Ludivine.

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: F ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
54.
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Set in Post-WWII Italy, a working class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it. (89 mins.)
“ Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Also known as "Ladri di biciclette" (original title)

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi4035510553/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
55.
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls. (188 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ Fanny and Alexander (1982)
Also known as Fanny och Alexander (original title)

Trailer: http://www.cinemagia.ro/trailer/fanny-och-alexander-fanny-si-alexander-1977/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
56.
Amélie (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. (122 mins.)
“ Amélie (2001)

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2330460441/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: A ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss
 
57.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed. (112 mins.)
Director: Julian Schnabel
“ The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
Also known as "Le scaphandre et le papillon" (original title)

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi4122018073/

IMDb # User's Votes - Rating: C ” - Remnant_Of_The_Abyss